Feb 09 Newsletter – CLA asks for Human Rights Committee

CLA released its four Australia Day letters last month, just as new came of a one-month’s delay in the national consultation on human rights  at the request of its chairman, Father Frank Brennan.  One of CLA’s OzDay letters asks the PM to establish a special Liberties/Rights Committee of Parliament, which has never had one, unlike other western countries.

The Attorney-General Robert McClelland, has asked the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) the review the long-standing legislation governing Royal Commissions in Australia. CLA supports the review, and says let’s drop the offensive name as well, and call them ‘People’s Inquiries’ (can you suggest an alternate name?). There’s news also of Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes calling for the closure of the Christmas Island detention centre.

In other news, there’s pluses and minuses for police data:  losing some data, and not getting access to other data, but skilfully using old data to review it under catchy ‘cold case’ procedures.

Other issues featuring in this month’s CLArion include:

  • NSW Shadow wants to end ‘law and order’ elections;
  • WA’s CCC gets a new watchdog;
  • Health privacy issues start to come to boil;
  • Pan disaster: no apparent response from government;
  • Pressure starts to mount on Australia’s penal practices;
  • UK House of Lords develops mercenary bent;
  • Obama’s transparency signals may be read here;
  • UK Foreign Secretary admits war on terror a mistake;
  • 112 former heads of state try to free Aung San Suu Kyi;
  • UK may slash the 30-year document release timeframe;
  • ‘Pacific should get its own human rights body.
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